Native plant populations throughout Vermont are being supplanted by non-native invasive plants. To the extent these invasions are successful, habitat “services” provided by native plant communities – food, protection from prey and weather, places for breeding and nesting, regulation of water temperature, and others – are diminished. Along streams and rivers, water quality too is impaired, as organic inputs are altered, runoff regimes are changed, and banks are destabilized by plant species whose roots are rhizomatous and ill-equipped to protect banks from erosion. And in forests, regeneration is reduced when non-native species move in.
In 2015, BCCD was awarded a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to create a Batten Kill Watershed Comprehensive Invasive Species Management Association (CISMA). To date this sister organization acts as a partnership between the Batten Kill Watershed Alliance, the Bennington County Conservation District, the Bennington County Regional Commission, Calfee Woodland Management, the Equinox Preservation Trust, the Green Mountain National Forest, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Vermont Land Trust, and Vermont Fish and Wildlife to treat invasives in the Battenkill area.